Annual Christmas Bird Count, Join In! | TheFencePost.com

Annual Christmas Bird Count, Join In!

Birders and nature enthusiasts in the Delta, Gunnison, Hotchkiss and Montrose areas will join birders across the Western Hemisphere late in December and early January to participate in the BLM and Black Canyon Audubon’s long-running wintertime tradition, the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC).

The event is part of a hemisphere-wide Audubon project.

From Dec. 14, 2008, through Jan. 3, 2009, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas will take part in an adventure that has become a tradition among generations of bird watchers including families, students, birders and scientists. All are assigned to do counting on designated “circles,” each year, which are areas assigned for the bird census.

Each of the citizen scientists who take part in the CBC makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long- running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations and help guide conservation action.

From feeder-watchers and field observers, to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the CBC does it for love of birds and the excitement of friendly competition over who can spot and verify the most varieties, with the knowledge that their efforts are making a difference for science and bird conservation.

The count takes place within Count Circles, which focus on specific geographical areas and each circle is overseen by a Count Compiler. If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher.

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In addition, if your home is within the boundaries of a Count Circle, you can stay home and report the birds that visit your feeder.

The counts will take place on:

Sunday, Dec. 14, Gunnison. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Hurst Science Building, Room 130, on the Western State College Campus. Contact Arden Anderson, 970-641-5322,

kandan@frontier.net

Saturday, Dec. 20, Montrose. Meet at 8 a.m. at the BLM/Forest Service parking lot on South Townsend Avenue. Contact Missy Siders, 970-240-5332, msiders@blm.gov.

Sunday, Dec. 21, Delta. Meet at 7:30 a.m. in the Delta City Market parking lot. Contact Jacob Cooper at or 970-589-0082, certhia@bresnan.net .

Saturday, Jan. 3, Hotchkiss. Meet at 8 a.m. in the Hotchkiss City Market parking lot. For more information and for those who want to meet earlier for observing owls, contact Jason Beason at 970-527-4625, eronautes.saxatalis@gmail.com .